Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Hot Diggity!

Oo ah Cantana, we've had another day of sun! I decided to head to the market this morning to grab some rays, and buy some grub. As I wandered around, I remembered one christmas party we hosted in my parents house, and a truly electric prawn dish my Uncle brought for the ride. Now, I'm certain I haven't done his recipe justice, but here's my Devilled Prawn curry. Uncle Shree, this one's in loving dedication to you!


1. 1 tsp cumin, fennel and dill seeds. 
2. 1 cardamon pod
3. 1 star anise 
4. 1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1. 250g tiger prawns
2. 1 red onion- finely sliced
3. 1 clove garlic- finely chopped
4.  2 cm root ginger- finely chopped
5. 1/2 lemon grass stem
6. Handful of coriander stems
7. 1 tbsp soya sauce
8. 1 tsp sugar
9. 1 tsp chilli powder
10. 1 tsp curry powder
11. 1 tbsp tomato puree
12. 1 tomato 
13. 2 cup water
14. 1 banana pepper- or as many as you like to taste
15. 1/2 bell pepper


1. Fry all the aromatics in some oil.
2. Add the onions, garlic and ginger, lemon grass, coriander. 
3. Once these have become golden, add the soya sauce, chilli and curry powder, tomato puree, tomato and water.
4. Add the sugar and banana pepper.   Now cover and allow to reduce.
5. In the meantime, shall fry the prawns (you can add some seasoning if you like- oregano and garlic works a treat).
6. Once they are pink, take them off the heat and check on the sauce.
7. The sauce should take about 20mins to thicken. Once this has thickened, add the bell pepper and remove from the heat. 
8. Finally add the prawns and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve with rice, or naan, or whatever! Amazing. Seriously amazing!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Jammy Dodger

Just sat down after a lethal house clean and am feeling like a treat after all that floor hoovering and surface cleaning. Cupcake? Cupcan. 

Funny, I've always enjoyed eating cupcakes, but never really had any inclination to make them before. However, once I realised how easy they are to make, and how versatile they are in flavour, they have fast become my quick eat treat. 

So here are my raspberry, satsuma and coconut jammy dodgers.

Makes 10 cupcakes


1. 4 oz margarine (at room temperature)
2. 4 oz caster sugar
3. 4 oz self raising flour
4. 2 eggs
5. 1 satsuma- rind
6. 10 tsp raspberry jam
7. 5 tsp desiccated coconut

To garnish:
8. Handful of raspberries
9. Fresh cream
10. 1 satsuma-juice


1. Use a mixer to beat the margarine and caster sugar until you barely feel the sugar granules.
2. Add in the eggs- one at a time and mix in-between every addition. 
Then the satsuma rind.
3. Sift the self raising flour - again add a small batch at a time. I usually divide into three parts, and this means that the flour can mix properly. 
4. Slowly mix in, so that the mixture remains fluffy. 

Now you simply lay out your paper cupcake cases in a tray and spoon your mixture in. We are going to do this in three stages, the first is the satsuma mixture, the second is a tsp of raspberry jam followed by 1/2 tsp of desiccated coconut per each case and the third is the final layer of the satsuma mixture. 

Now leave to bake for 20mins, checking with a toothpick to ensure that the batter is baked throughout.

Finally, garnish with cream and fresh raspberries soaked in satsuma juice and eat, eat, eat!

I know it's not exactly one of my 5 a day, but these sure do make me feel better!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Spring Chicken

Dare we say it? The April showers are finally over? One glorious day of sun! Hurrah. Although before we count our chickens before they hatch, how about a little light eating to get that spring in our step? Get involved people, very easy and very tasty. Ears and eyes wide open please.

As I've mentioned before, I love all things crunchy. The crunchy layer on top of a cake when it's fresh out of the oven, crisp wholemeal baguette (as opposed to soggy and white, yuck!) and well…you get the idea. So, I naturally love spring rolls. But as much as I love the flavour, there is something about the shape which does not leave as much room for crunch, as the dumpling family for example. Packaged up like little flowers, the mass surface area of wafer thin skins can't help but crisp up when fried. Hmmm…so onto the theory:

To make 8 fried dumplings

1. 1/2 chicken breast
2. 1 tbsp oyster sauce
3. 1 tbsp sesame oil
4. 1tsp garlic powder
5. 1 leaf of cabbage finely chopped
6. 2 sheet spring roll pastry (chop each pastry roll into 4 quarters)

1. Mince or finely chop the chicken and add all of the seasoning (The chicken will only cook through the heat of the oil, so make sure it is really fine)
2. Leave for 10mins
3. Take one quarter of the spring roll pastry, and lay on a flat surface. Put 1 tsp of the mixture in the middle and just bring all of the corners in.
4. Once you have made all 8, deep fry and eat!

Now, I'm sad to say that though I made my dumplings so well in my manufacturing stage, I did not put even oil in to deep fry and they did not keep their shape. Shame on me. Lesson learnt, and advise to be passed on! They only need a dip in the hot oil, so don't go anywhere, or let they die cajun style!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Heat Wave

Yes, it's official, we are in Monsoon season. Well, fear not Grubbers, if we can't rely on the weather for sun, head to the kitchen for a bit of heat.

Introducing my jalapeño and creamy coconut Chicken curry.

Now, remember I said before that there are many many ways to cook a curry? I thought I'd give you another recipe. Truth be told this is a much easier, less smelly and healthier way of cooking a chicken curry as it does not require any oil, and means you can pretty much just dump all ingredients in the pot.

For one baby chicken, you need:

Dry ingredients

1. 1 tsp cumin seeds
2. 1 tsp fennel seeds
3. 1/2 tsp dill seeds
4. 1 bark of cinnamon
5. 1 Star anise
6. 1 pod of cardamon 
7. 1 clove
8. 3 red dry chillies


1. 1/2 tsp chilli powder
2. 1 tsp curry powder
3. 1/3 tsp turmeric powder
4. 1 tsp coriander powder*

Wet Ingredients

1. 2 small onions- finely chopped
2. 1 tsp ginger- crushed
3. 1 tsp garlic- crushed
4. 2 tomatoes
5. 1 tbsp tomato puree
6. 1 cup of water
7. 2 Jalapeños* (To taste) 
8. 50g creamed coconut

Okie cokie- quite literally chop and add all ingredients, wet and dry into a deep pot. I finely sliced one Jalapeño to cook and a left one (which I halved) to add 5 mins from the end of cooking time. If love a bit of heat, add a few more, but don't get too brave, as these can definitely give you heart and tummy burn! Check and turn your chicken in 15mins, and after 25mins, you should be ready to plate up. Yes, ABC simple!

Serve with some plain rice and some crushed tomato and coriander salad. Bring on the heat Britain! 

Friday, 8 June 2012

My Big Fat Greek Salad

Yes, it's been about a million years, and I'm very sorry about my posting absence. With all the moves I've been making to set up my own business, and the Jubilee celebrations, my mind (and tummy) has been otherwise engaged! However, that being said, I've still been cooking, and, still eating- what with all those street parties going on, I'd be a fool not to!

Well, now all of those festivities are over…and it's friday, I well and truly feel like a treat. And for me that means one thing- cheese! More specifically, Feta. Really is there anything better? So, away I went, to my local Turkish deli and picked me up some lemon olives, creamy feta, spicy sausage and fresh bread. Hello taste.

Now, I know it's been a week of British celebration, but seriously, the Mediterranean diet is a force to be reckoned with. It is recognised as being one of the most nutritionally recommended cuisines as it is rich is such key players as olive oil- whose high levels of monounsaturated fats are proven to reduce heart disease, and use a fine spread of fresh fruits and fish regularly. Healthy, yes, but more importantly, this is a taste sensation.

Now, I do enjoy the odd Nando trip from time to time, but must admit whenever I go, I head straight for the Med Salad. If you haven't ordered this before people, you are missing out. So, on a day like today, I thought, why not bring a little Peri-Medi home? For you all you carnivorous souls out there, stay tuned- a good salad should always satisfy your healthy needs as well as your hunger pangs. No, it is not just something girls order as a appetiser, or a side to a rib-eye steak- this is a main event!

Here's how it's done:


1. Handful of very ripe cherry tomatoes
2. 2 inches of cucumber
3. 10 fresh pitted olives 
4. 1/8 lemon
5. 80g feta cheese
6. A few slices of spicy sausage
7. 1 ripe avacado
8. 1/2 spring onion
9. 3 tbsp extra virgin oil
10. 1 floret of cauliflower (par boiled)
11. Handful of ice-berg lettuce


1. Half the cherry tomatoes, then place in a wide bowl, and squash.
2. Finely slice the spring onions and lettuce
3. Roughly chop the cucumber, cauliflower and mix again.
4. Finely chop the lemon, add the olives and feta cheese.
5. Cut the avocado and the olive oil, and toss lightly.
6. Finely thinly slice the sausage and tear and add to the top.
7. Finely drizzle a bit of oil and add salt.

Grab a fork, and get to eating. This is so good for you, dessert can be guilt-free!